In China, almost anything can be bought online, from a luxury car to online courses, or even pet grooming services – the wealth of choice is inexhaustible.
Internet shopping has transformed daily life in China. People shop whenever they want, wherever they want, and have it express-delivered at minimum cost – in a matter of hours in larger cities. Advanced logistic networks utilising big data, cloud computing, smart robots and drone-based delivery ensure speedy delivery to almost anywhere in China.
Traditional shopping can be tedious and time-consuming in a hectic country plagued by traffic jams. With a growing percentage of Chinese people enjoying increased spending power, more and more people are doing their shopping online, which offers greater ease and convenience especially for busy urbanites. Geographical distance, too, is no longer a barrier.
Easy-to-use mobile apps and payment systems have simplified and fuelled the growth of online shopping. Online retail – or “E-tail” - is not only embraced by young, tech-savvy millennials, but also older generations. The number of over 60s actively purchasing goods and services online is expected to exceed 255 million by 2020.
Home of the world’s biggest online shopping festival
Singles Day or Double-11 – it takes place every year on 11 November – is China’s biggest online shopping festival. Originally launched by e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2009, the festival has been adopted by most other retailers.
Last year’s sales on this one-day buying frenzy exceeded the combined online sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US. In fact, the Alibaba group set a new world e-commerce record last year, by generating EUR 25 billion in sales in just 24 hours. That broke the previous year’s sales record by 27%.
As many as one billion packages were delivered solely after the “Singles Day” shopping festival last year, with 180,000 brands taking part.
The e-commerce boom in China has had a tremendous impact on the demand for label and packaging materials. Alongside the use of advanced technologies, artificial intelligence and cloud computing, sophisticated labels are also needed to ensure high efficiency in handling the enormous volume of parcels.
According to China’s State Post Bureau, the number of parcels delivered annually in China has increased by 10 billion over the past three years. In 2018, over 50 billion packages were delivered across China by express delivery.
UPM is the global market leader in both labelling materials and glassine release liners, which are used for labels, stickers, tapes as well as other packaging, production, and logistics applications.
Early last year, UPM launched its flagship store on JD.com, one of the largest online retailers in China. Altogether, five different office paper brand families are sold on JD.com: UPM Jetset®, UPM Copykid®, UPM Yes®, UPM Future® and UPM Soho®.
“With 99% of the population in China under JD’s logistic network coverage, now, no matter where you are in China, you can have a ream of UPM copy paper delivered to your doorstep within a day or two,“ notes Simon Wu, Sales representative, E-channel, Specialty Papers APAC, who is responsible for the online sales of UPM products in China.
Customers can visit the shop on their mobile app or through a social media channel like WeChat, where they can browse product categories, study and compare product specifications, chat with online customer services, receive information about in-store promotions, place an order anytime and have them delivered quickly.
Text: Ni Xiao Hong